Smith Lakes in California
Lakes Basin Recreation Area has two different spots named SMITH LAKE. This region is in the Northern Sierra Nevada mountains, near Downieville, at the north end of the California Gold Country @ Highway 49.
Smith Lake hiking trail can be accessed from the Gray Eagle Lodge area along Gold Lake Highway; or this hiking lake can also be accessed from a park on the north side. Plumas Eureka State Park, via the Jameson Creek trail.
Lakes Basin also has a small set of two lakes called “Smith Lakes” – located on Smith Creek. Way back behind the larger, most famous Gold Lake.
4×4 Road #11E71 will lead you to this remote destination, with the proper vehicle, of course. Creek crossings and large rocks; A quality topographic map and a 4 wheel drive rig is needed for this adventure.
Lakes Basin Recreation Area
North Sierra mountains, Sierra granite meets Cascade volcanic rock. Border of State Park & NFS lands
Inyo Forest Rd #1S23
Walker Lake & Mono Pass
Bloody Canyon Trailhead
North of June Lake Loop, off of Road #1N17
also known as Little Walker Lake trailhead
1 mile walk downhill to Walker Lake; very steep trail with 800′ elevation decent.
Vault toilet & one campsite at parking lot.
Trailhead camp for backpackers who arrive late. Nearby Parker Creek offers more in the line of free camping, more creeks, private setting.
Slim pickins on campsites, means have a plan B or C ready in case these few ideal canyons are full. Minimal camping spots, down on the main drag Road #1N17
Bloody Canyon leads further up the steep ravine to Upper & Lower Sardine Lakes.
Bohler Canyon near #1S19 (locked gate)
private property along some portion of this lake, so be aware of signage
California Campground Maps
Maps are the key to finding your very own slice of heaven in the Wilderness. Online map sources can barely get you to your city destination correctly, much less the remote waterfall you desire. You will need a real map for your adventure. A topographical map, with all the details, dirt roads & hiking trails. If you are seeking to stay away from the touristy crowds, this is the best possible place you can be…. on this site, searching for ways to make it happen – this weekend.
BACKPACKERS BACKPACKING MAPS –
Mount Whitney, John Muir & way beyond the High Sierra. DanaMite has all the California Wilderness maps on the new map shop. Various brands and types of maps. Most are printed on waterproof plastic now & are tear-resistant.
CAR CAMPING MAPS –
Planning on camping outside of the developed campgrounds & finding that perfect stream side spot without the reservation & the fees? Then you will need a free fire permit (from a ranger station), plus a good map of the forests & a vehicle capable of handling the rugged the back roads. Much of California is prone to wildfires, so make sure campfires are even allowed on the backroads, before you get out there. Call the “field rangers” for back road advice and current recommendations.
CALIFORNIA OFF ROAD MAPS –
Wanna take that 4×4 vehicle somewhere really special this season? Camp well beyond the masses, way down that dirt road. We have OHV maps for SoCal, the deserts & all the National Forest maps too.
CALIF CAMPGROUND MAPS –
Start your search on the perfect campground or camp site with the destination in mind. Mountains, deserts, coastal. Parks & forests all have their own maps with all nearby camp grounds listed. We feature all the National Forest maps, as well as some State Park & National Park maps
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California A to Z
RV camping at it's best in the Sierra; This rig found themselves deep in the alpine lush meadows with towering trees and a view and a very private camp site.
Big Bend Ranger Station, off I-80
Southern California is a culture unto itself. The SoCal region spans from the coast of San Diego to the inland deserts of Imperial. Upward to included most of Mojave desert and over to the Santa Barbara coast, with he coastal mountains in Los Padres National Forest as the backdrop. If you seek a mountain bike trail in Big Bear, a picnic spot on the Malibu coast, a camp site in Anza Borrego Desert or an 4×4 route near Gorman, we will have you covered with our large selection of topos and trail maps.
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SoCal Map Set
A handy map set that includes all 4 Southern California National Forests
SoCal More Maps for 4×4 trails, ATV, dirt bikes, quads, rally, 4WD routes
Hiking Maps of SoCal
Wilderness and recreation maps of the Southern California region
Agua Tibia Wilderness Map
Channel Islands Map
Cucamonga Wilderness Map
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
Death Valley National Park Map
Dick Smith Wilderness Map
Joshua Tree National Park Map
Malibu Creek Map
Mojave Desert Map
Mount Wilson Map
Mount Baldy Map
PCT Trail Maps
Pine Creek / Hauser
Point Mugu State Park
Anza Borrego Desert Map
San Diego Backcountry Map
San Gorgonio Map
San Jacinto Map
Santa Monica Mountains Map
Sespe Wilderness Map
Verdugo Trail Map
Zuma Canyon Map
If you are a backpacker wanting to easily access the John Muir Wilderness, the paved parking area of Maxson is the trail head for you. The Courtright Reservoir is located at over 8000′ elevation, w/ granite domes & alpine scenery all around. This place is way back behind Dinkey Creek, past the McKinley Sequoia Grove inside a deep granite gorge. The Sierra National Forest is the region, which is south of Yosemite National Park. The paved route is a long one from Shaver Lake, via Dinkey Creek Road, but the rewards are great. An all day adventure and a side trip not to be rushed.
Warning: You could spend a whole day just driving & sightseeing in this area! Meadows, wildflowers, dirt roads, trails, Big Creek, McKinley Grove of Sequoias, Wishon Reservoir, the list goes on. All the way out to the Wilderness boundary, Courtright Lake is not a quick or easy drive.
The hikers trailhead is located at the end of Courtright Rd. Cross over the big dam to the right & drive approx one mile; look for signs on the right side of the road. There are minimal areas to set camp at this granite , windswept face. Good luck getting a tent stake in the ground. Rock rules here. There are a few developed Campgrounds on the opposite side of the lake which may be a better choice for car camping. This Maxson parking lot is primarily for backpackers.
nearby locales –
maps of this Sierra region –
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Dusy Ershim 4×4 route start right here too – on the opposite side of the road. It’s second only to the Rubicon Trail, as far as High Sierra rocks & terrain.
Rock Climbers also love this spot for the granite domes & walls. Hiking all the way around this lake is a full day trip, with lunch and sightseeing stops. A pleasure not to be rushed.